Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gareth Flood's Oil and Corruption

Upon reading the synopsis of the novel, I see that the author described it as "nefarious." In some ways it is, but in others I thought it was funny.  Like Inglorious Basterds funny. Maybe that's not what the author intended, but that's my interpretation.

The novel is about an British man, Jonathan Marshall, who is just some underdog analyst for a major oil corporation.  He completes an analysis for another coworker and people start dying, including his coworker and several attempts on his life.

I thought the novel to be funny for several reasons.  The author covers very intense and serious subject matter, but he uses words and phrases such as "The last of the coins were fed in faster than the slot machine rate of a Florida retiree with cancer in Vegas," to create images that may/may not be intentionally funny. The author also uses the same style of writing to create a character's inner thoughts.  My favorite example is "He is more slippery than a greased pig."  Hilarious, or is it just me?

Another reason I thought the novel was so funny was the way the characters were described and developed.  Most of the characters are pretty flat, with the exception of Jonathan Marshall.  That's ok, it works for this book. Let's just examine some of these other characters:

Hoot Mitchel: Oil tycoon and CEO, who is killed to pave the way for new oil pipelines. The way I imagine this guy is not very flattering. He's stupid wealthy, fat (thinks he's God's gift), and his dialect gives the impression of the stereotypical-dumbass-American that says "Amuricah" for "America."

The Cajun, The Tartan, The Nasty Arab, One Dirty Hebe- All of these are the "muscle man" for their bosses. The Cajun and The Tartan are "secret weapons," assassins that are killing machines meant for mass destruction. What's funny about these killers is that they all have a stereotypical character trait magnified. If people like this really exist, then I don't know what I'm gonna do....

Overall, the book is a good read.  If the funny parts weren't intended in this "nefarious tale," then it's an extra bonus.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great review! Yes, the humour is intentional - wanted it to be a thriller laced with humour - glad it came across that way. Cheers, Gareth